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Banteay Meanchey gets free TV

People watch national television in Phnom Penh yesterday. The channels will now be available free in Banteay Meanchey province for the first time thanks to a new relay tower.
People watch national television in Phnom Penh yesterday. The channels will now be available free in Banteay Meanchey province for the first time thanks to a new relay tower. Sreng Meng Srun

Banteay Meanchey gets free TV

The northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey is set to finally have local broadcast television with the installation of a relay tower due to begin operating next month, officials confirmed yesterday.

The tower in the provincial capital of Sisophon will provide – for the first time in the province – free national public programming such as local and national news broadcasts, according to Sek Sokhum, the province’s information department director. Previously, those hoping to watch TV in Banteay Meanchey had to subscribe to cable.

The tower is expected to cost some 250 million riel (about $62,500) and will be connected to the existing production office for local public broadcasting – established with help from the Vietnamese public broadcaster Voice of Vietnam, he said.

“We expect that when the Banteay Meanchey provincial television station is completely built, people in our province will have more trust in the government,” said Ly Sary, Banteay Meanchey deputy governor.

Phos Sovann, director general of the Information Ministry’s Department of Broadcasting, told The Post that the government’s national strategic development plan for 2014-1018 requires each provincial information department to establish a local radio and TV station to broadcast “vital information” on topics such as security, economics, tourism and culture.

“Through those provincial television stations, people in the country will find it easier to trace the important news . . . without spending more money on cable connection or satellite,” he said.

Only 10 provinces currently have TV stations, he said.

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